Sunday, April 23, 2017

Flinders Island escape

If you are contemplating a holiday that involves bargain flights, glittering hotels and endless shopping opportunities Flinders Island is simply not your dream destination.

If on the other hand you are looking for deserted beaches, welcoming locals and endless walking and exploring opportunities Flinders Island could be for you.  

Island life is a lot like outback life in some respects.  To live on an island requires a certain amount of resilience, self sufficiency and organisation.  Council services are limited, many roads are unsealed and all supplies need to be shipped in either by barge or airfreight. Getting on and off the island requires planning for locals and tourists alike.  

Flights, accommodation and hire cars are all limited which means that crowds are non-existent even over a busy period such as Easter, when we visited.  All of these factors make a thoroughly peaceful holiday destination far from the usual, bustling tourist hot spots. 

If you have read some of my older blogs you will know that I love old beach shacks.  You can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon these rough little gems hidden in thick, coastal scrub , up narrow bush paths or sitting out on their own tiny islands. 

We were welcomed home by gentle rain, flowers in the garden and all of those things that make home so special but our week of relaxed island living will stay in our hearts for years to come.

While on Flinders Island we:

Bought coffee and local treats from A Taste of Flinders.

Tested local wine from Unavale Vineyard.
If you are interested I will be be posting about our accommodation  separately in the coming days.   

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, friends x

Saturday, April 8, 2017


The last week of the school term can be a killer.  Patience and motivation seem harder to find when the holidays and Easter are both in sight.  On top of that, my enthusiasm is limited when it comes to Easter craft activities and discussions.

Midweek my frustrations must have been quite obvious when my husband questioned why I was letting it all get to me.  He told me to do something that I found inspiring instead.  Why is it that men have a knack of explaining things so simply?  Or is it just me who has a tendency to torture myself with the tedious points of life, when instead I should just get outside and dig in the garden. 

So, I did.  We packed up the books and momentarily stepped away from our distance education computer. 

I cleaned up some dying summer vegetables.

I spent some time admiring beans and sunflowers seeds that I am collecting from the garden.  There is just something about a jar of seeds don’t you think?

I fed my sourdough starter.

I listened to some music, this song and then this song

I messaged an old friend and a cousin who I haven't seen in ages and arranged some real life catch up time.

I baked a batch of Kourabiedes to give as gifts, if they last that long.

I spent some time daydreaming about coffee possibilities at this place and then this place. We are hitting the road very soon and it is getting rather exciting. 

Of course, I can’t always down tools when the going gets tough, but sometimes it is just good to reconnect with the things that make us happy. 

Do you have a favourite thing to do when life starts to boil over?  I know for some of you it is sewing.

Happy weekend, friends x

Sunday, April 2, 2017

My photography uniform

I am guessing that almost everyone reading likes to take photos either with their phone or on a big camera or with some sort of photographic device.   Sometimes my camera feels like an extension of my body and I reach for it constantly.  It feels so familiar and there are times when photos of moments passed bring a tear to my eye.   Not because I think my photos are particularly spectacular, I just get immersed in the memories. 

I find myself looking at the light wherever I am and imaging photographic possibilities.
My camera is almost always with me.  

Unusually for us, we have had two consecutive weekends of social activity, our local races and then a neighbour’s wedding.   On both of these occasions I have found myself a lot more dressed up than usual and I have realised that it is almost impossible for me to take photos when I am in a dress and heels.  For some reason I find it very difficult to be subtle and smooth, camera in hand at big social events.  I find it equally conspicuous and inappropriate to be glued to my camera phone.

Our neighbour’s wedding was a photography paradise.  There was a garden oasis, a glorious outback sunset, a huge sheep trough full of ice and sparkling drinks, a decorated woolshed, a perfect dust haze, genuine country smiles, gorgeous ladies and handsome men.  Yet, in my formal dress and makeup I felt unable to reach for my big lens.  Sitting here now I feel quite regretful but in some ways I know that there are times when it is good to step away from the camera.

For now I will stick to quinces, autumn light, vegetables, horses and scenery from home, captured while I am in my jeans, wide brimmed hat and work boots.  I will work on mastering photography in a dress. 

Do you have a favoured photography uniform?

Do you need to feel comfortable to get into that magical photography zone?  

What are you taking photos of today, I wonder? 

Since it is Sunday I will leave you with two songs.  There are so many big names, voices and songs all wrapped together beautifully in this package.

I know a lot of people who are seeing the Dixie Chicks live while they are in Australia.  This song is a favourite of mine and judging by the Instagram videos in my feed I think a few other people might like it too.   

Happy Sunday, friends x

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Progress and patience

There have been so many ebbs and flows in the last week or two.  In amongst the whirl of it all I have noticed some things.

I have seen that my children are incredibly resilient, responsible and patient in those moments when it really counts.  This week they have supported and encouraged me when I absolutely needed it.   I just couldn’t ask for more.

I have realised that my husband, Terry and I have been married for seventeen years.  Lately, due to farming and business demands we have spent a lot of time apart.  Semi-single parenting and farming can be challenging and crazy at times but like all things, these days will pass.

Apparently autumn is here, but the days are still very hot and dry.  Parts of my garden are feeling the change in season while other parts are still in summer mode. 

I am faced with the eternal question, do I start to pull things out to make room for fresh organic matter and my winter crop or wait until everything has completely finished and collapsed.  Patience or progress?  

Cattle are amazing creatures but they can be hard to catch on camera.  I have been treating these sunset expeditions as mini creative challenges.  It just feels good to spend some time concentrating on the light, dust, animals, horizons and camera settings.

We have an actual, real holiday on the horizon.  Although I am trying not to get ahead of myself I am very excited about some travel, adventure and relaxation.

How is your Sunday looking?

What are you noticing in your world right now? 

Friday, February 24, 2017

When technology disappears, for a while

Hello friends, it has been a while.  We have been without a serious computer for the last week or so which in some ways has simplified life.  However, eventually there are always bills to pay, emails to respond to and online business to take care of.  So, we sent our incredibly dusty and apparently malware infested hard drive off to a reliable backyard computer wizard in town and hoped that one day it would return, intact. 

I have missed plugging my camera in and looking over my photos and I have really missed blogging.  Not necessarily my own blog but all the blogs I like to keep up with.  For a while it felt like some of my friends were missing from my life.  Thankfully, I know a few dedicated bloggers and I know you are all still out there. 

While that dusty old hard drive left a gaping hole under our desk, life went only fairly normally.  In our world there are a few things that still operate without passwords, sms security codes or dreaded malware infections. 

Kids, cattle and horses.  Of course, kids love technology but they also manage quite well without it, amazingly! 

Bread, there is always bread. 

My snake beans have been so productive but when I harvest them it is always a battle between the ants and I.

The eggplants are also prolific, as are the weeds when I inspect this photo more closely.

This giant sunflower reached for the sky and produced a plate sized flower.  Now is has bowed its weighty head as the seeds start to dry off. 

Dill flowers have lived happily tangled under my quince trees all through the summer and they just make me smile.

Autumn is on the horizon and so are the quinces.

Perhaps some cooking might be on your horizon?  In the latest issue of Graziher you will find some of my autumn cooking creations including quince scrolls.

Blogging forces me to collate my thoughts as well as my photos and it feels good to be back.

Are you growing, baking or perhaps taking off after a mob of cattle on your trusty horse?

Wishing you a weekend full of the good things.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baking, growing and collecting

This week I decided to start each day with something creative.  Things that make me happy. Moments that don’t always fit in to daily life around the usual routines and commitments.  Something other than arguing about healthy breakfast options, hair brushing and listening to the news from America. 

On Monday I headed out into the darkness with my camera chasing shadows, reflections, contrasts and the first rays of morning light.

On Tuesday I baked sourdough focaccia.  Some for now and some for the freezer. 

On Wednesday I harvested and watered in the vegetable garden before we hosted a rural fire service training day.

On Thursday we headed to town for school supplies, groceries and haircuts.  Our town days always start with coffee; there is simply no negotiation on this.  Seeing the friendly faces of our favourite baristas sets the day up perfectly.  

My mother in law recently gifted me this little collection of well aged enamel.  I am working on planting cactus and succulents in them for a low maintenance display, maybe in our house. I feel like our house could do with some inside greenery. 

Did you listen in to Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown on Australia Day?  The song that come in at #3 is one of my favourites at the moment. 

In between all of this I have also been reading the book from Grown and Gathered.  If you love growing and making food and are mindful of where your food comes from you will love this book.  I feel inspired every time I pick it up.

Are you taking photos or harvesting or making or listening?

Do you find tiny creative moments that fit in around the busyness of family life?  

Happy Sunday, friends.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Head space

Space.  We are so lucky to have plenty of it.  Space to breath, work, think and plan.

Places to catch fish, or at least try.

Places to paddle in our canoes.

Quiet water to cool off in, for ourselves and our animal friends.

Nature’s treasures just waiting to be collected and inspected.

Getting away from our property for a night and heading to the water reminded me that sometimes I become quite complacent about our space and the opportunities it provides.  As we creep towards the end of the school holidays I am determined to make the most of every piece of space around me.

I hope today you are finding some space to breath. 

Happy Sunday, friends. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A strategy for summer

With the school routine and Christmas celebrations a distant memory it is amazing how quickly we have fallen into another whole rhythm.  Farm work continues as usual while on the home front our days are dictated by the weather or more specifically the heat.

Our mornings start early, checking tanks and sheep and squeezing in the odd horse ride.  It really is the best time of the day and I can’t imagine sleeping when scenes like these are unfolding around me.

By mid-morning I am in the vegetable garden harvesting, watering and occasionally day dreaming about seeds and plans and future crops.  In these moments I often think of my vegetable gardening friend Jodie who with her family, is about to embark on a big move and change in her life.  Good luck Jodie x 

By the afternoon we have the air-conditioner cranked up and we settle in for some quieter time: playing, reading, covering the kitchen table with Lego and craft, calming frayed tempers, listening to the ABC, preparing simple dinners and tidying up Lego and craft.  

In the evening there are animals to check again and jobs to finish off.  Then the swimming dam usually calls us where we find some cool and calm in the shade and water.  Is there anything happier or more joyous than a wet dog shaking every single part of his body on a hot afternoon? 

This swimming time is a sanity saver and it is even better when we take dinner with us.  Two birds with one stone and then we head home for an early night.

Does summer require a strategic approach at your place?

I know at least one of my friends has been experiencing snow recently which I find quite unimaginable. 

Have you switched to iced coffee or tea?  I have.

Happy Sunday, friends.